March 29, 2017


Leonardo DiCaprio Remembers 'Gilbert Grape' Star Darlene Cates as 'Best Acting Mom I Ever Had'

Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage
Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

Following news that actress Darlene Cates died on Sunday at age 69, her What's Eating Gilbert Grape co-star Leonardo DiCaprio has posted a remembrance, calling her "the best acting mom I ever had the privilege of working alongside."

The 42-year-old Revenant actor's complete thoughts:

"Darlene was the best acting mom I ever had the privilege of working alongside. Her endearing personality and incredible talent will live on in the memories of those who knew her, and those who loved her work. My thoughts and prayers are with her family during this difficult time."

Cates' résumé was sparse, meaning DiCaprio is one of the lucky few who can attest to acting with her on-set. 1993's Gilbert Grape was her first credit; she later appeared one an episode of Touched by an Angel and Picket Fences. She reportedly just finished filming a new feature titled Billboard; except for a short film in 2014, the movie will be her first credit since 2001.

Cates' family wrote on Facebook that she "was called Home, somewhat unexpectedly, peacefully in her sleep Sunday morning."

Though DiCaprio just finally won his Academy Award in 2016, What's Eating Gilbert Grape was his first of five nominations as a performer. He was 19 at the time of its release.